Today the Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “acting as Anil Ambani’s middleman”, in his latest allegation linked to the Rafale controversy.
Rahul Gandhi revealed that the industrialist had visited Paris and met with the French Defence Minister, 10 days before the PM went there and announced the 36-jet deal with France. ”
“PM has compromised national security, he has done what spies do,” Rahul Gandhi said in a press conference, citing an email of an official of Airbus; several employees of the plane-maker were reportedly in the meeting between Anil Ambani and French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. The email by Airbus official Nicolas Chamussy, dated March 28, 2015, and marked to three recipients with the subject line “Ambani”, described the meeting as “confidential and planned as you can imagine with very short notice.”
Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence has said the visit had nothing to do with Rafale; they say the industrialist visited France to discuss a deal for more than 100 Naval Utility Helicopters for which the government had sought information from international helicopter manufacturers in 2015.
The official said that Anil Ambani “told them he intends to work with Airbus Helicopters on commercial helos and then on defence.”
According to Reliance Defence, Airbus had told Anil Ambani that there were “other potential partners” and the deal fell through. Airbus decided to continue working with the Mahindra Group.
Rahul Gandhi dismissed the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General’s) report on the Rafale deal, which, according to sources, doesn’t mention pricing at all as the government called it classified information.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, in a stinging rebuttal, said: “How Rahul Gandhi got the email of a private company is in a cloud. Regardless of the shameful manner in which Rahul Gandhi is acting as a lobbyist for companies, the country will not bend. The country needs fighter planes and good defence equipment.”